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Old 08-02-2002, 04:14 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,479
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
Originally posted by PhilH
Wow, what an amazing analysis. Good stuff.

Almost makes me want to "learn" how to drive with SMG. However, I'd like to hear a couple other enthusiasts back this wacko up. Either that or I need a 10k mile test drive too.
OK, goes. For background, I have never owned a car that had an automatic. I have never owned a car that was not performance oriented. I DO know how to double clutch and heel & toe. I have done driving schools from 125cc shifter karts to rally driving to Skip Barber in Formula Fords. And I own an '02 M3 SMG with over 5000 miles on it. I have put over 400,000 miles on manual transmission cars.

The long artilce is pretty much right one. SMG is not a manual and it is not an automatic. But like a maunal you have to learn how to drive it. I normally drive in S5 (actually I ONLY drive it in S5 ). WIth some practice you can make perfectly smooth shifts in S5 at any load/throttle opening/RPM. If you just pull the paddle, some shifts are not as smooth as an EXPERIENCED driver can do a manual transmission. Just as this author says, you need to learn the subtleties of this transmission.

When I first drove if (with much trepidation as I was picking it up) I liked it. The more I drive it, the more I appreciate it. The factor of accelerating for a lane change is spot on. It is great to be able to tap the downshift paddle twice at cruise to do a perfect 6 - 4 downshift as you nail the load pedal and flat out accelerate. All while looking, steering, and signaling.

Even as long as that article is, it still doesn't fully convey the long term experience of SMG.

As for the post that they would not get it because they can control RPM by slippign the clutch, WHY? The only reason to do that is if you screw up your rev matching. And SMG doesn't screw it up. But anyway, if you just lift off the gas and coast, then downshift at low RPM with throttle closed, guess what? SMG will slip the clutch for a smooth deceleration, for every gear except 1 and 2. Why? I have no idea, but 3 - 2 downshifts and very slight or closed throttle always seem to cause a sharp deceleration, unless you feather the throttle as in article. Again, you just have to learn how to drive this transmission.

Bottom line, I love it and would not go back. If I had only one car, it would be SMG.

BTW one thing many people who have ot spent time with it seem to decide they are going to do is to use an A mode in traffic. There is no reason to. The reason an automatic is nice in trafic is no cltuch pedal. Since the SMG has no clutch pedal, and shifts just take a flick of the fingers, I find S5 works just as well in heavy traffic.
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
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